Jus de Coeur
Various healthy blends of mixed fruits near the Omotesando Crossing Gate exit. The orange, strawberry and grapefruit concoction is a balanced blend of astringent and sweet.
¥280-400. Omotesando stn. Open daily from 7am.
With over 20 locations across Tokyo, Juicer Bar is great for a smoothie-on-the-go before rushing to the train platform. Although the vast, reasonably priced selection includes interesting jumbles such as tomato pineapple, bitter gourd guava and kiwi apple, find more conventional flavors too such as blueberry yogurt, banana, and mixed fruit.
¥180-350. Various stns. Open daily from 7am.
Grab a pick-me-up in the heart of Harajuku. Green smoothies are rising in popularity, as dark leafy veg is packed with nutrients. With names like spring sunshine, inner cleanse, detox beauty, and energy green, each smoothie has its own virtue. Pick up a raw sweet to go along, such as the chocolate brownie or dried fruit-and-nut bar.
¥180-350. 6-5-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Open daily from 11am.
Amid the commuters’ elbows on many JR platforms, Honey Bar offers fruit smoothies in the early morning as you step onto the train. Try the triple berry mix (strawberry, raspberry, cranberry), or the kiwi-avocado blend. Honey’s Bar also offers a morning set that comes with a pastry.
¥200-400. Various JR stns. Open daily from 7am.
Nicolai Bergmann Nomu
This Copenhagen-based designer flower shop offers more than blossoms at its exquisite café. The winter escape smoothie is a delectable mix of mango, coconut milk, banana, mint and honey, while Espresso Banana has a shot of Java for a quick spur. Come for teatime after 3pm and accompany your drink with a delicious brownie or oatmeal cookie.
Around ¥650. 5-7-2 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku. Open daily from 10am.
Ginger, orange, banana and apple blends promote energy boosting, skin rejuvenation, and other perks in Nakameguro. Like Nicolai Bergmann Nomu, the location of Green Hill is inside a gorgeous flower shop, where the serene atmosphere aids your morning mood.
Around ¥350. 1-20-2 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku. Open Mon & Wed-Sat from 11am, Sun & hols from 10am.
There’s more than apples at this Garden of Eden. Among the vegetation find a vast array of smoothies—red, yellow or green kinds, and blends like acai cinnamon berry or passion carrot. Try a shot glass-sized tonic for a nutritious boost.
¥300-1,000. 1F West Bldg, Omotesando Hills. Open daily from 11am.
ekimono (eki + morning)
If you need something nourishing, plump for the homemade onigiri at this take-out counter by the Tamagawa (west) JR exit of Shibuya. Choose from a variety of flavors including succulent salmon mayo, as well as shrimp tempura.
¥130-220. Shibuya stn. Open from 7am.
Grab a healthy breakfast in the south building in the form of soy-based drinks made from non-GM beans. Try the delightful mango smoothie pearly, which contains tapioca, or the avocado grapefruit mix, along with one of their warm custard cakes. This is the first Japan branch of a successful Singapore chain.
¥180-440. Shibuya stn. Open from 7am.
Dean & Deluca
In certain of the locales of this upscale NYC grocery store chain you can enter to sit yourself down at their espresso bars, which gains you access to their outstanding coffee, freshly baked scones and crumbly muffins. Nab yourself a wonderful raspberry ricotta muffin, or a ginger honey scone for the road.
Around ¥300. Various stns. Open from 7am.
Bagel & Bagel
Get in on the recent bready-ring trend in Japan by snapping up one from a multitude of varieties, including blueberry, multigrain, green tea, tomato parmesan, and more. Comes with flavored cream cheese, such as the seasonal “berry berry” cream cheese.
Around ¥160. Various stns. Open from 7am.
This chain provides European-style baked goods, such as raisin bread, French toast, walnut bread, danishes, English muffins and cinnamon rolls, as well as some Japanese twists such as the sesame bun. Use the self-service, or sit down at some locations to savor them.
Pastries ¥120-400. Various JR stns. Open from 7am.
For the mere sum of ¥500, feast on the morning set (before 11am): a hard-boiled egg, chickpea salad, coffee, and three types of bread including their famous espresso variety—made with grains from neighbor Bear Pond Espresso. Pick up an almond croissant and rock cake (a crumbly concoction filled with jam) for the road.
Pastries ¥170-220. 3-31-5 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku. Open daily from 7:30am. www.cafe-mixture.com
Pure Café Aoyama
Have a vegan brekkie in Omotesando, with the monthly muffin (¥400-500) for a guilt-free morning start. Morning sets, like the dip and toast, or the grains salad, are available from 8:30-11:30am for ¥680.
5-5-21 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku. Open daily from 8:30am. www.pure-cafe.com
Le Pain Quotidien
The Tokyo branch of the worldwide high-end bakery-restaurant commands a gorgeous view of Shiba Koen and Tokyo Tower, a large communal table, floor-to-ceiling windows, and wooden furniture. Their specialty is the grilled tartine (¥1,100): try the white-tuna and bean kind, delicately flavored with coriander. For an early breakfast, order the bread basket, which comes with a selection of jams, and wash down with a bowl of café au lait.
3-3-31 Shiba-koen, Minato-ku. Open daily 7:30am-10pm. www.lepainquotidien.jp
Pancakes from a set menu are made with carefully selected ingredients, without additives or preservatives. Different set options vary from whipped cream, bacon, homemade granola and yogurt, cranberry jam, or a fried egg, and all pancakes are served with natural maple syrup. They even sell their own pancake mix: buttermilk, grain, chocolate, and cornmeal. Try the banana chocochip pancakes.
2F, 5-6-13 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku. Open Mon-Sat from noon, closed Sun. www.sasser.ac/apoc
Good Honest Grub
The delectable eggs Benedict are unequaled in Tokyo, and the fresh smoothies here (¥700) are just as wonderful (try the tofu, banana and maple syrup one). The breakfast wrap (¥1,200) includes beans and salad to set you up for the day. Dishes are made using organic vegetables from GHG’s own farm. Feel at home in the living-room setting, and enjoy the excellent service.
2-20-8 Higashi, Shibuya-ku. Brunch Sat-Sun & hols 10:30am-4:30pm. www.goodhonestgrub.com
With locations in Paris, London and Seoul, this French bakery offers fresh tarts, salads, scones, and an immense selection of freshly baked cakes (from ¥550). Feast on a substantial brunch (from ¥1,000) of creamy eggs Benedict with thick wheat bread and butter, or get stuck into the scrambled eggs and cheese scone. If you can still stuff anything in, sample the carrot cake, or hazelnut brownies.
Various locations. Open Mon-Fri from 8am, Sat-Sun & hols from 9am. www.rosebakery.jp
This New-York style grill is situated on a quiet street, and serves a lush brunch selection—the set (from ¥2,700) includes your choice of an item from the bakery, bacon or sausage, and fresh fruit to balance things out a little. A selection of freshly baked toast, muffins and croissants. Sip on a mimosa (¥1,300) for a true Sunday feel.
1-2-5 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku. Brunch on Sun & hols 11am-3pm. www.tyharborbrewing.co.jp/beacon
Café Celi is a European-style café where you can sit for hours. Try their espresso, whipped up by a world-renowned barista, or the luscious French toast, made with baguette soaked for 24 hours, drizzled with Canadian maple syrup, and accompanied with organic fruit from Kyoto and a hearty portion of crisp bacon (brunch set ¥1,000).
1-13-6 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku. Brunch daily 7:30-11am. www.cafeceli.com
Las Chicas boasts a beautiful outdoor terrace on a quiet street, perfect for lounging in the shade of the surrounding trees. Come here for the brunch classics (from ¥1,500), such as eggs Benedict and the egg-and-bacon combo, as well as for salads including the avocado and feta salad, drizzled with lemon and perfectly seasoned with herbs.
5-47-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Brunch Sat-Sun 11am-3pm. www.vision.co.jp
Behind Roppongi Hills, this charming, French-style bistro with a woody, comfortable interior (and a memorable wall of hats) serves smoothies, eggs Benedict, buttermilk pancakes, and more (from ¥650). Soufflés (¥650-800) are the specialty, with the mushroom and Gruyère kind a key pick, and the açaí-berry energy bowl an early morning kick-start. Free-refill coffee.
6-15-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Brunch Sat-Sun 8am-4pm. www.lauderdale.co.jp
The inimitable Aussie chef has just opened his first Metropolitan Tokyo location in the shiny new Tokyu Plaza at the Omotesando-Harajuku crossing. It serves typical brunch fare (from ¥700), all day. Toasted coconut bread, avocado on rye toast, and sweet corn fritters are popular items on the morning menu. Their trademark banana-ricotta hotcakes (¥1,400) are light and fluffy, with a dash of maple syrup and creamy butter.
7F Tokyu Plaza Omotesando. Open daily from 8:30am. www.bills-jp.net
Did we miss your favorite breakfast spot? Found a new one? Share your best breakfast places in the comments below.